What did Kevin Rudd, Australia’s Foreign Minister, have to say when he gave a strongly worded speech last week on extreme poverty? Thanks to my mate Luke who forwarded me this link.
I was really pleased to hear the framework through which the Australian Government is operating. Here are a few of the points worth mentioning:
- Bi-partisan support.
- A recognition that “the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) hang in the balance”
- Focus on increasing aid effectiveness.
Policy is the vehicle through which a government can exercise influence on issues like this. It can be crude and slow in delivery at times. Kevin Rudd indicated that the government is looking for ideas in how to always improve and have greater impact- that is a good offer which should be responded to in good faith when the performance of the government appears frustratingly less than what could be achieved.
This is the reason for the 10 City Bridge Run. Governments need the input of people to make a difference. Howls of protest serve a limited purpose, just as does long and unremarkable petitions which lobby for change. The 10 City Bridge Run seeks to create a ‘pictorial petition’ comprising of 24,000 photographs of ‘human bridges’ to be sent to all leaders of the G20 members states. The petition will applaud the resolute spirit of each government to achieve the MDG, and recognise the decisions that will be made at the G20 Summit in Seoul, and importantly appeal for change that ensures together we influence a reduction on child mortality before 2015.
The petition started with an idea. It is emergent and still needs work. It is at this point in time still in design. You can help. Please contribute to the crowdsourcing questions that will be articulated later tonight. Only by acting together will this initiative be able to achieve impact.
Kevin Rudd closed with a noteworthy reminder, leaving aside statistics and policy:
Let us not forget that we are talking about people who are part of our common humanity.